The Story of Jazz
No one knows exactly when jazz was invented, or by whom. But it began to be heard in the early 1990s. Jazz was a new kind of music, for America and the world, and New Orleans was its birthplace. Who were the jazz pioneers?
Jazz was created by America Negroes, or blacks, as they are called today. They worked long hours in the cotton and tobacco fields. This work was hard and life was short. When a Negro died, his friends and relatives formed a procession to carry the body to the cemetery. In New Orleans, a band often accompanied the procession. On the way to the cemetery the band played slow, solemn music suited to the occasion. But on the way home the mood changed. Spirits lifted. Everybody was happy. Death had removed one of their numbers, but the livings were glad to be alive. The band played happy music, improvising on both the harmony and the melody of the tunes presented at the funeral. This music made everybody want to dance. It was an early form of jazz.
Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella. Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. During her life, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.
She had a flexible, wide-ranging, ageless and eventually very beautiful voice. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with lots of jazz greats, such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman.
She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common – they all loved her.
Ella Fitzgerald had a long and successful music career. She recorded songs for around 60 years. Some of her most successful and best-selling songs included “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and “Dream A Little Dream of Me.”
Ella Fitzgerald was 17 years old when she began her music career. She performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York’s area of Harlem. She began singing with Chick Webb and his band the “Tiny Bradshaw” in Harlem. They produced a lot of songs together including “Love and Kisses” and “If you can’t sing it, you’ll have to swing it.” In 1939, after the death of their band leader Chuck Webb, she took over the lead position and the band was renamed “Ella and her Famous Orchestra.” They produced almost 150 songs together. Ella and her band came to an end in 1942 as she had decided to become a solo singer.
Author: Qnarik Voskanyan